Mon
Sep 10 2012
02:49 pm

Interesting quiz to find which presidential candidate most reflects you. quiz

turns out, for me, Jill Stein is a 95% match to my ideals. Obama is a distant 82% -- which I believe is based on what he says, not on what he's accomplished, according to my answers. (NOTE: I have not found anything on how the quiz is determined), and Romney comes in at a measly 13%. Which got me thinking, does the Green party, or any third party, even have a snowballs chance of making a dent in this election?

I was reading earlier today the about third parties in our political culture. While it is nice to believe that we can shake the duoploy of our politics, I just don't see it happening anytime soon, not even by 2016. But, I also believe that something must be done to break the chain of only two parties.

Bbeanster's picture

Deny it though they do

Deny it though they do ((link...)), the Greens made a huge 'dent' in the 2000 election.

Somebody's picture

It is true that the Greens

It is true that the Greens and Nader are not the solitary contributing factor in the outcome of that election. It's entertaining, though, the amount of squirming and finger-pointing they will do to avoid any acknowledgement whatsoever that they were a very significant contributing factor.

I think the root of that squirming lies with the canard that the two major parties are fundamentally the same thing. A chief appeal of the Greens lies with the assertion that voting for a Green candidate who has no chance of winning is not an act of throwing away your vote, because the two major parties are indistinguishable, and voting Green is the only way to assert any of the values of the Green platform.

If they truly believed that, they would freely admit Nader's role in the outcome of the 2000 election, because their logic asserts that it really didn't matter anyway. It becomes a big so what? Otherwise, if you believed that a Gore Presidency would have been significantly different than the Bush Presidency, well, you would have to conclude that, at least in close elections, it would be better to vote Democrat and get some of what you want, rather than voting Green, helping to flip the outcome to the Republicans, and get none of what you want.

I read some stuff over the weekend that suggests the Republicans are sweating it this year because they can't afford to have any portion of the Tea Party wing siphoned off to the Libertarians.

Really, with all the problems inherent in the two-party system, what third partiers miss is the fact that it's less different from multi-party governance than they think. In Eurpoean parliaments, they do indeed have many different parties to choose from, but unless one party is able to win over half the seats, governance must happen through the formation of a coalition of enough parties to pull a majority of seats into the coalition. So what happens with such a coalition? Compromise. A Green Party functioning as a part of a majority coalition would be able to advance some of their issues and would be forced to compromise on others. In the end, it's functionally the same as Green Party-types operating as a wing of the Democratic Party. Some of your priorities make it to the forefront, and others have to wait.

Somebody's picture

Indeed. Also, the corollary

Indeed.

Also, the corollary to the idea that a Green would do well to vote Democrat in a close election in order to at least get something agreeable is the fact that when it's not a close election, voting Green will have no effect on the outcome. It's really something of an existential crisis. The only time voting for a third party will have an effect on the outcome of an election is when your third party vote helps toss the win to the candidate who has the least in common with you.

Hildegard's picture

What?

What?

rikki's picture

This is pablum disproved with

This is pablum disproved with its own final paragraph. A legislature that has to compromise to accomplish things is a legislature that can accomplish things. A legislature where a party can fanatically devote itself to not compromising is drawing salaries in D.C.

That happened because the "Tea Party" is tumor Republicans grew all by themselves, their very own deformed fetus whose diapers will always need changing. They prevented a third-party bite into their power by creating what is basically stupidity's version of a lightning rod grounded to the Rovian deceit machine.

Democrats could have shunted the Nader threat with the politics of compromise, but they chose the politics of victimization instead, and it came true! They passed HAVA, and now it is even easier to purge voters and rig machine tallies than it was in 2000. See Ohio 2004.

Those cheats essentially legalized, Republicans have moved on to disenfranchising voters with photo-ID laws, but Democrats are still mired in the Nader hatred that blinded them to the "very significant contributing factors" that not only altered the 2000 outcome but were also criminal. Is it a coincidence that the Democrat's decision to look the other way on several flavors of voter fraud ushered in an administration with almost no regard for the law? Is it a coincidence that Republicans interpreted Democratic submissiveness as a signal to roll out new erosions of democracy?

You are probably my favorite KnoxViews poster who is not R.Neal, Somebody, but you need to cough up the Nader-hater phlegm and leave it to dessicate on the pavement like Republicans did with W and Cheney and Rumsfeld. It is your disease, not the Greens.

Somebody's picture

Thanks for the compliment, I

Thanks for the compliment, I think.

Of course, you're doing exactly what I said, with the pointing of the fingers and the agitated denials and such. Yes indeed, shenanigans with the voting process played a crucial role in 2000. I already noted that there are lots of things that contributed to the outcome, but that includes your hero, Ralph Nader, a man just as crusty and unhinged as Ron Paul, but with three times the crunchiness! Just admit it. The Greens and Nader played a role in pushing the vote deep into the statistical margin of error, which was a prerequisite for the shenanigans that reeled it in for Bush and Co.

The test is simple, if Nader hadn't run, where would his voters have gone? According to a wikipedia quote (always accurate, all the time) of Nader's own assessment of that question, "In the year 2000, exit polls reported that 25% of my voters would have voted for Bush, 38% would have voted for Gore and the rest would not have voted at all." In Florida, that would have netted Gore an 1108 vote lead after adding Nader's percentages to both Bush and Gore's totals. So yes, all those other things played a role in the outcome of that election, but so did your Green Guru.

rikki's picture

That's a reply worthy of the

That's a reply worthy of the Mitchell trolls. How fascinating to learn that Nader is a hero of mine! You're making me wonder whether Democratic disregard for the integrity of elections is not just a symptom of their Nader scapegoating but an actual underlying feature.

The test that people whose principles have not been warped by Nader hatred apply to the 2000 election is this: How many voters were turned away from the polls because they had been illegally purged? How many cast a ballot but did not have their vote counted because of chads or some other machine malfunction? How many cast a ballot and had their intent misconstrued due the illegal butterfly ballot?

More importantly, how many voters this year will have their intent misconstrued through software failures? How many will vote on machines whose results can not be verified? How many improper purges do we already know about, and how many will we learn about on election day?

Do you see any differences between those tests and your test? Do Democrats actually want fair elections, or do they just want control of the machines and voter rolls?

Somebody's picture

There's no need for

There's no need for ad-hominem attacks.

How many voters were turned away from the polls because they had been illegally purged?

A valid question and quite possibly a contributing factor in the outcome.

How many cast a ballot but did not have their vote counted because of chads or some other machine malfunction?

A valid question and quite likely a contributing factor in the outcome.

How many cast a ballot and had their intent misconstrued due the illegal butterfly ballot?

A valid question and almost certainly a contributing factor in the outcome.

Now your turn: How many cast votes for Nader but would have cast votes for Gore, had Nader withdrawn or at least declined to campaign in swing states?

?_____________________

R. Neal's picture

Florida redux

The definitive blow by blow

(link...)

rikki's picture

Invalid question, and you are

Invalid question, and you are challenging a position no one holds. I did not say Nader made no difference. That was part of a lengthy ad hominen attack against a caricatured Nader voter that you created. You wrote the claim you think I need to defend.

My stance on the 2000 outcome, were you to inquire rather than dictating it to me, would be that Nader made a minor difference, negligible relative to several other things, including a number of things that should be different, not just that I wish were different. Your standards -- "quite possibly," "quite likely" and "almost certainly" -- are actually less definitive than what I believe, so even if I were to parrot one of your responses I would be weakening my position. I can definitively rule out that Nader made no difference. That is a salacious, polarized opinion you are attributing to me; my actual thoughts differ.

My actual thought is that Democrats now have over a decade of civil rights erosions and setbacks on their watch. The difference between the test you propose and mine is that yours relates to a fairy land and mine to the defined legal standards by which elections are to be conducted. You want to talk about a world that never existed, and I am talking about today and now.

The answer to your invalid question is John McCain. If Rove had to compete without a 2% spoiler threat like Nader in the contest, he would have gone with a safer and more inspiring candidate than W.

Why have elections grown less secure since one got stolen?

Somebody's picture

The only only words I might

The only only words I might have "dictated" to you were in reference to the Nader-as-hero thing. You disavow that, and I stand corrected.

I originally referenced the Green Party article linked above that cited many of the other numerous reasons that Mr. Gore failed to win, and noted that the writer steadfastly refused to acknowledge that Nader played a contributing role. I didn't write the claim that I challenged you to address; somebody in the Green Party did.

You called my assessment "pablum," and noted other contributing factors to Mr. Gore's loss, plus some subsequent issues that are indeed worrisome, but are really an attempt to change the subject.

I then noted that you pointed at other causative issues, but still chose not to acknowledge that Nader played any role in Gore's loss (much like the Green Party author in the earlier linked article that I did not write). It's true that you "did not say that Nader made no difference." it's also true that I did not accuse you of saying that. I just accused you of not acknowledging that he did make a difference.

The fact that you have now acknowledged that Nader a least made a minor difference, I would call that something of a breakthrough, so congratulations. That must be cathartic.

rikki's picture

OJ will find the real killer too

The subject of this thread is the 2012 election, and your first contribution was an attempt to browbeat those considering a vote for Jill Stein into settling for a lesser choice. Steering the conversation toward the present day is staying on topic, fixating on Nader is not.

Nowhere in the 2003 article does the author "steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that Nader played a contributing role." The author said Nader is not to blame. Simply recognizing that Nader was on the ballot and got votes is "to acknowledge that Nader played a contributing role." The fiction of Greens in denial is one you share with your fellow Nader haters, but it is a straw-man exaggeration as inane as any the Didgit ever employed. An absence of data is what proves your point.

My point, the point in the linked article and what you fail to acknowledge is that Nader played a LEGITIMATE role in the 2000 election. Katherine Harris did not play a legitimate role. There are numerous illegitimate contributions to the Bush putsch, all of ample magnitude to change the outcome.

Greens have been warning Democrats since before 9/11 not to overlook the threat of illegitimate elections by demonizing Nader. But while Democrats tried to hang the innocent, the guilty got away.

Somebody's picture

Reading comprehension

The original subject of the thread is an online quiz that compares the quiz-taker's opinions to various candidates for office, plus a general comment on third parties. I never wrote anything about Jill Stein, though I did suggest that in general, multi-party systems are not functionally all that different than the two-party system when it comes to the ability to bring a given agenda to the forefront.

Nowhere in the 2003 article does the author "steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that Nader played a contributing role." The author said Nader is not to blame. Simply recognizing that Nader was on the ballot and got votes is "to acknowledge that Nader played a contributing role."

That is some hair-splitting on the level of Bill Clinton's zen-like study of what the definition of the word "is" is.

I never wrote that Nader did not play a "legitimate" role. I don't think anyone, myself included, has suggested that he was on the ballot fraudulently. I have merely suggested that the outcome of his participation was counter-productive with regard to many of the stated goals of his political platform. Interestingly, it is possible to fit that idea into my brain at the same time that I consider the many illegitimate efforts of the Republicans to suppress, control and distort the vote. The concepts are not mutually exclusive. Given the protests and legal actions taken to try to counter some of this year's attempts, such as voter roll purges, changes to early voting times and rules, photo ID requirements, etc., it would seem that others are able to notice those things, too, whether or not they are still irritated about Nader's ill-fated run.

Andy Axel's picture

The Greens and Nader played a

The Greens and Nader played a role in pushing the vote deep into the statistical margin of error, which was a prerequisite for the shenanigans that reeled it in for Bush and Co.

Tennessee's 11 EV's would have made Florida irrelevant. And Nader's <1% showing in Tennessee wasn't enough to make up the gap.

(link...)

Thanks, Donna Brazile, for advising Al Gore to spend no more time in Tennessee than it took to introduce Joe Lieberman to the sweltering members of the press assembled at Bicentennial Mall. Sterling advice, that.

CE Petro's picture

Comparatively Speaking

Betty, compared to Ross Perot's runs in 1992 and again in 1996, the Green's barely made a dent in 2000, with only 2.7% of the vote. Perot in 1992 got 18.9% of the vote and took a nose dive to 8.4% in 1996.

Those are just the most recent presidential elections. Going back further, there are some interesting results.

Bbeanster's picture

All it took was a few hundred

All it took was a few hundred votes in Florida....

R. Neal's picture

537 to be exact, v.

537 to be exact, v. 90-something thousand for Nader.

But the actual result was 5-4.

(And it didn't help that Gore couldn't win his home state.)

R. Neal's picture

My results

92% Democratic
85% Green
16% Libertarian
16% Republican

92% Jill Stein
92% Barack Obama

(I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never heard of Jill Stein.)

R. Neal's picture

P.S. I like the "yes/no,

P.S. I like the "yes/no, but..." feature of that survey. More of them should have it. Although it caused my opinion to depart from some candidates when without it we would probably have agreed on a fundamental yes/no.

R. Neal's picture

That's a good point.

That's a good point. Unfortunately, public policy usually comes down to a yes/no vote by our elected representatives, for good or ill (usually ill because of the corrupting influence of unelected special interests).

CE Petro's picture

Here's the thing

for my results, Obama got a higher result because "he agreed" (or was it I agreed?) with some fundamental ideals, but yet his stance had some pretty significant departures/exceptions from my own ideals, that for me, would say we didn't agree. And yet, the results showed that we had similar stances on a particular topic.

As for Jill Stein, I had only recently read something about her, and can't for the life of me remember where it was or what it was about. So, here's my next question:

If the media spoke more about these 3rd party candidates, would the general public be more aware of them, and thus be more likely to vote outside party lines? (As I recall, there was a lot of discussion surrounding Perot in '92 and '96 and there was a bit of discussion of Nader in 2000)

bizgrrl's picture

97% Democratic 96% Green 30%

97% Democratic
96% Green
30% Libertarian
7% Republican

90% Jill Stein
88% Barack Obama

I've also never heard of Jill Stein, but am not surprised.

R. Neal's picture

Huh. The Mrs. is a stronger

Huh. The Mrs. is a stronger Democrat than me. Go figure. Actually, it explains a lot.

onetahiti's picture

My results

I'd never heard of Jill Stein either.

94% Green
93% Democratic
37% Libertarian
3% Republican

88% Jill Stein
84% Barack Obama

-- OneTahiti

Rachel's picture

87% Jill Stein 81% Barack

87% Jill Stein
81% Barack Obama
4% Mitt Romney(!)

I think I took this once before and the first two #s were higher. Must be the mood I'm in today.

Midori Barstow's picture

Makes me feel grreat to have

Makes me feel grreat to have results similar to bizgrrl:

98% Democratic
96% Green
28% Libertarian
6% Republican

92% Jill Stein
87% Barack Obama

Thanks, CE Petro...I'm happy to learn of Jill Stein!

Local Citizen's picture

Must be a misfit!

Romney 76%
Johnson 65%
Goode 58%
Obama 33%
Stein 27%
Anderson 18%

I must be more conservative than I thought!

Local Citizen's picture

Forgot to list party

Republican 79%
Democratic 59%
Libertian 52%
Green 7%

I guess I am more independent than a party person.

xmd's picture

My results don't really

My results don't really suprise me.

91% Democratic
86% Green
37% Libertarian
23% Republican

91% Barack Obama
77% Jill Stein
34% Mitt Romney

Factchecker's picture

91% Democratic 92% Green 19%

91% Democratic
92% Green
19% Libertarian
7% Republican

91% Jill Stein
88% Barack Obama
79% Rocky Anderson (whoever that is)
15% some guy named Rmoney

(I'm also embarrassed to admit I'd never heard of Jill Stein.)

lonnie's picture

95% Democratic 94% Green 14%

95% Democratic
94% Green
14% Libertarian
8% Republican
91% Jill Stein
74% Rocky Anderson
63% Obama

Factchecker's picture

I'm not sure many Republicans

I'm not sure many Republicans feel so negatively toward Bush, Cheney, et. al. We can't know how they secretly feel, but I know some actually do miss Bush, like a coworker of mine. He thinks getting rid of Saddam Hussein transcends any other foreign policy deficiencies of their entire 8 years! Credit to Obama for doing the same with OBL, not to mention that that was a much more involved and risky operation and that there are other foreign policy successes, not so much. He says Obama was merely "standing on the shoulders" (his words) of Bush's successes. Further, we know many of these people love Bush's SCOTUS.

I would wager many on the right, and especially tea partiers, feel this way. At least my friend at work doesn't like Romney and thinks November will be a landslide reelection. My friend says he does wish we could put Bush back in office, though.

Factchecker's picture

The 88% solution

It should go without saying that if you're faced with agreeing 92% with a candidate who has no realistic chance of being elected, or 88% the incumbent who stands an excellent chance of being reelected, it's an easy choice. I wish I were confident Nader would see it that way.

Local Citizen's picture

Submitted by Factchecker on

Submitted by Factchecker on Tue, 2012/09/11 - 8:41am.

It should go without saying that if you're faced with agreeing 92% with a candidate who has no realistic chance of being elected, or 88% the incumbent who stands an excellent chance of being reelected, it's an easy choice. I wish I were confident Nader would see it that way.
----------------------------
In Tennessee it will not matter. Romney will win. A vote for a third party candidate may get another choice on the ballot in future elections if the party can get 5% of the total vote. In my opinion, that would be more important than wasting your vote on a candidate everyone knows will lose in this state or voting for one that will win.

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